Why 'Agility' Leads the List of Enterprise Software Buzzwords that Bug Me

Dennis Byron

Certain IT buzzwords bug me, and "agility" leads the list. The May 21 announcement by SAP's management is an example of how this word is abused. This May 27 announcement by Pervasive is a three-fer, not only working "agility" into the headline but adding "cloud computing" and "SaaS."


In its announcement, SAP says:

"strategic agility" (SAP's quotation marks) is the number-one cornerstone of a successful business in 2008 and beyond.

Use of the word implies someone in IT is against dexterity. And in favor of imbalance and uncoordinated activity. If only top management would tell those people in IT that are holding the enterprise back, the organization would run like the well-oiled machine top management designed.


The problems are software-based after all; they have nothing to do with the bad acquisition decision, the bad hire, the delayed engineering work, or the other decisions made by top management that have nothing to do with software.


In addition, most definitions of "agility" that I found imply that the word relates to responding to a stimulus. If that's its true meaning, the use of the word as a mantra for IT or any part of a business organization is even worse. Reaction is not the key. Acting ahead of the need is the hallmark of the leading enterprises.


And I add "strategic" to my list of buzzwords that bug me. As in "we in IT are in favor of dexterity but only if employed tactically."


Do you have any favorite (as in "NOT!) buzzwords. Send them along via an e-mail or comment.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Jun 6, 2008 8:39 AM Greg Orndorff Greg Orndorff  says:
Certain people in my company like to use the work Dynamic, implying the ability to turn on a dime. However, what theyre really referring to, is me dropping everything for their emergencies arising due to their lack of planning. - Greg Reply

Post a comment





(Maximum characters: 1200). You have 1200 characters left.




Subscribe to our Newsletters

Sign up now and get the best business technology insights direct to your inbox.